Drexel Dragons

03/08/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/08/2018 22:54

Dragons to Host Delaware in CAA Semifinals on Friday



For the seventh time in eight years, the Drexel women's basketball team will be in the semifinals of the CAA Tournament as the Dragons host Delaware on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. The top-seeded Dragons will be attempting to defeat Delaware in CAA Tournament play for the first time ever, and advance to the championship game for the fifth time.

Drexel scored the game's first 14 points and never trailed as the Dragons advanced to the CAA semifinals for the seventh time in eight years with a 71-41 win over UNCW in Thursday's quarterfinal. The winning margin of 30 was the largest of the year for Drexel, and gave the team its record 14th home victory of the season. Kelsi Lidge led the way with 18 points, while Sara Woods added 11 and seven rebounds, and Hannah Nihill scored 11 with five steals.

The fifth-seeded Blue Hens advanced to the quarterfinals by virtue of a 61-50 victory over No. 4 Northeastern, the only seed upset in the quarterfinal round of the CAA Tournament. Delaware came into the tournament with an 18-11 overall record and an 11-7 mark in CAA play. That included a pair of losses at the hands of the Dragons, both by more than 15 points.

Nicole Enabosi was named the CAA Player of the Year after averaging a double double all season. She is currently averaging 18.4 points per game and 12.2 rebeounds a contest, both tops in the CAA. She is one of three Blue Hens averaging double figures this year, joined by Makeda Nicholas (11.3) and Samone DeFreese (11.2). As a team, the Blue Hens are the second-highest scoring offense in the league at 66.7 points per game. That scoring comes almost entirely on the inside, though, as their 3.9 threes per game are next-to-last in the CAA.

Delaware leads, 47-32, though the Dragons have won six straight. That is tied for their second-longest win streak in the series. In the last meeting, Kelsi Lidge netted a career-high 27 as the Dragons wrapped up a regular season sweep of the Blue Hens with a 72-53 victory in Newark on March 1. The Dragons held Enabosi to season lows of four points and six rebounds. Drexel is 0-5 against Delaware in CAA Tournament action and just 1-8 against the Blue Hens in postseason tournament play all time. The one win came on March 4, 1998 as part of the America East Championships held that year at the University of Maine.

This week, the Dragons are enjoying the ultimate home court advantage as they host the CAA Tournament at the Daskalakis Athletic Center Mar. 7-10. It is the first time that Drexel has hosted the event, and will be the first time the CAA Tournament has ever been as far north as Philadelphia. Tickets are on sale by calling 1-866-4-DREXEL.

Drexel is 14-0 at the DAC this year, establishing a new program record for home victories in a season. Last year, they went 13-3 in setting the previous mark. This is the first time in program history Drexel has won its first 10+ home games and the first time it completed a perfect regular season at the DAC. The Dragons' previous best home winning percentage was .909, set in 2000-01 when they went 10-1 at the DAC.

Drexel was recognized with a number of awards from the CAA following its 24-6 regular season. Senior Kelsi Lidge and sophomore Bailey Greenberg were named Second Team All-CAA performers, while Lidge also garnered recognition as a CAA All-Defensive player and the league's Dean Ehlers Leadership Award recipient. Although the Dragons have led the league in scoring defense nine times, Lidge was the team's first-ever All-Defensive honoree. She was the sixth Dean Ehlers winner though, and the fifth under head coach . Both are conference records. Meanwhile, Dillon was unanimously named the CAA Coach of the Year, her third Coach of the Year award and first since the team's CAA championship season in 2009. Finally, freshman Hannah Nihill was named the league's Rookie of the Year. She is the third Drexel Rookie of the Year, joining Catherine Scanlon (2003) and Gabriela Marginean (2007). She also holds a spot on this year's CAA All-Rookie Team.

Drexel now has 47 victories over the past two seasons. That is tied for the highest two-year win total in program history. In 2011-12, the Dragons went 19-14 the year before Drexel won the WNIT with a 28-10 record, for a combined 47 victories.

Drexel is currently ranked No. 14 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll, its highest ranking of the season. The Dragons are ranked for the sixth straight week and seventh time overall this year, having earned their first ranking on Jan. 2 when they checked in at No. 22. For the last two weeks, the Dragons have been ranked No. 17. Drexel has been ranked or receiving votes in the poll for all but two weeks this season. Drexel is one of four CAA teams to appear in the poll this year (Elon, James Madison, William & Mary).

With a win on Friday, Drexel would advance to the championship game on Saturday afternoon at the DAC. That game would tip off at 1 p.m. against either No. 2 James Madison or No. 3 Elon.